Yoel Esteron.

Mind the Tech London 2023
"Israel will survive this autoimmune attack on its democracy"

"Israeli Tech will prosper. Please help us get through these difficult days. Don't give up on us. We shall overcome," Calcalist Publisher Yoel Esteron told the attendees at the Mind the Tech London conference

It's a real challenge to speak today in London to the British business community together with the leaders of the Tech ecosystem from Israel.
On the one hand, we all live in the same global village and read the same gloomy analyses of the attempt to cripple democracy in Israel and its potential effect on the tech sector. On the other hand, we Israelis hope that investors do not run away from us. Surely we don't want to encourage you to run away.
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ועידת לונדון 2023 יואל אסתרון
ועידת לונדון 2023 יואל אסתרון
Yoel Esteron.
(Photo: Yariv Katz)
We need to be honest: We cannot deny that we are facing a major political crisis, but will the prophecies of fury and gloomy predictions come true?
I recently called on investors and friends of Israel, decision-makers, and colleagues in the international press: do not give up on us. Not yet. I want to explain today, on this stage in London, why you should not give up on us.
We are not giving up. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been taking part in continuous and stubborn protests. I participate in these demonstrations on Saturday nights with many Israelis who never left their home to protest: Pilots, fighters from elite units, Mossad agents, high-tech and business people, doctors, psychologists, young and old Israelis, and not just from the left or the center; also many disillusioned right-wing voters.
The massive camp of Israelis who want to live in a democracy suddenly woke up, realizing that freedom is not a given. The Israeli majority is secular or traditional, not ultra-orthodox, and not settlers. This majority wants to continue living in a democracy.
It is why I can stand here today and say I'm optimistic, well cautiously optimistic about the chances of democracy surviving.
Now let's talk about the tech sector. Most fundamentals of Israeli tech are still strong. We have a very experienced technology and business leadership of entrepreneurs and venture capital funds. We know how to build excellent technology and innovation-based companies. Over the past two decades, we also learned to understand the global markets and how to grow large companies, not just race to a quick exit.
More importantly – we did it without any help from the various governments in times of toxic political campaigns, in times of terror and clashes with Hamas and Hezbollah, and even in the Covid years.
So, I can tell investors sitting on the fence that yes, "Israel’s stock" has suffered painful blows, but you should not short it. Israel will survive this autoimmune attack on its democracy. Israeli tech will prosper. Please help us get through these difficult days. Don't give up on us. We shall overcome.
Yoel Esteron is the Publisher of Calcalist